female genital mutilation

GC: n

S: UNICEF – http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58002.html (last access: 14 November 2013); WHO – http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/ (last access: 16 December 2014); https://www.gov.uk/female-genital-mutilation (last access: 17 December 2014).

N: 1. . female (n): early 14c., from Old French femelle “woman, female” (12c.), from Medieval Latin femella “a female,” from Latin femella “young female, girl,” diminutive of femina “woman”.
genital (adj): late 14c., in membres genytal “the genitals,” from Latin genitalis “pertaining to generation or birth” (also a by-name of the goddess Diana), fromgenitus, past participle of gignere “to beget”. As a noun meaning “sex organ” from mid-15c.
mutilation (n): 1520s, in Scots law, “act of disabling or wounding a limb,” from Middle French mutilation and directly from Late Latin mutilationem (nominative mutilatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin mutilare “to cut or lop off,” from mutilus “maimed,” which perhaps is cognate with Greek mytilos “hornless.” Of things, “a destroying of unity by damaging or removing a PART ,” from 1630s.
2. Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
3. Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types.

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are “the lips” that surround the vagina).
  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
  • Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

4. FGM is a fundamental violation of the rights of girls and is a deeply entrenched social norm. It is a manifestation of gender discrimination. The practice is perpetrated by families without a primary intention of violence, but is de facto violent in nature. Communities practice FGM in the belief that it will ensure a girl’s proper marriage, chastity, beauty or family honour. Some also associate it with religious beliefs although no religious scriptures require it. If families were to stop practicing on their own they would risk the marriage prospects of their daughter as well as the family’s status.
5. According to a recent UNICEF publication more than 130 million girls and women have experienced FGM/C in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is most common.
6. Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women. In Africa, more than three million girls have been estimated to be at risk for FGM annually. Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
7. The extensive literature on the subject, the support of international organizations, and the emergence of local groups working against the continuation practices appear to suggest that an international consensus has been reached. The terminology used to refer to these surgeries has changed, and the clearly disapproving and powerfully evocative expression of “female genital mutilation” has now all but replaced the possibly inaccurate, but relatively less value-laden term of “female circumcision”.br />

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=mutilation&searchmode=none ; http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=genital&searchmode=none ; http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=genital&searchmode=none (last access: 16 December 2014). 2 y 3. UNICEF – http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58002.html (last access: 16 December 2014). 4. WHO – http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/ (last access: 16 December 2014). 5. UNICEF – http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58002.html (last access: 16 December 2014). 6. WHO – http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/ (last access: 16 December 2014).

SYN: 1. FGM. 2. FGM, FGC, female circumcision. 3. female genital cutting.

S: 1. GDT. 2. TERMIUMPLUS. 3. UNICEF – http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58002.html (last access: 16 December 2014); TERMIUMPLUS.

CR: castration